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Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol. 2007 Mar-Apr;42(2):95-111.

Molecular chaperones HscA/Ssq1 and HscB/Jac1 and their roles in iron-sulfur protein maturation.

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Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of California, Irvine, California 92617, USA.


Genetic and biochemical studies have led to the identification of several cellular pathways for the biosynthesis of iron-sulfur proteins in different organisms. The most broadly distributed and highly conserved system involves an Hsp70 chaperone and J-protein co-chaperone system that interacts with a scaffold-like protein involved in [FeS]-cluster preassembly. Specialized forms of Hsp70 and their co-chaperones have evolved in bacteria (HscA, HscB) and in certain fungi (Ssq1, Jac1), whereas most eukaryotes employ a multifunctional mitochondrial Hsp70 (mtHsp70) together with a specialized co-chaperone homologous to HscB/Jac1. HscA and Ssq1 have been shown to specifically bind to a conserved sequence present in the [FeS]-scaffold protein designated IscU in bacteria and Isu in fungi, and the crystal structure of a complex of a peptide containing the IscU recognition region bound to the HscA substrate binding domain has been determined. The interaction of IscU/Isu with HscA/Ssq1 is regulated by HscB/Jac1 which bind the scaffold protein to assist delivery to the chaperone and stabilize the chaperone-scaffold complex by enhancing chaperone ATPase activity. The crystal structure of HscB reveals that the N-terminal J-domain involved in regulation of HscA ATPase activity is similar to other J-proteins, whereas the C-terminal domain is unique and appears to mediate specific interactions with IscU. At the present time the exact function(s) of chaperone-[FeS]-scaffold interactions in iron-sulfur protein biosynthesis remain(s) to be established. In vivo and in vitro studies of yeast Ssq1 and Jac1 indicate that the chaperones are not required for [FeS]-cluster assembly on Isu. Recent in vitro studies using bacterial HscA, HscB and IscU have shown that the chaperones destabilize the IscU[FeS] complex and facilitate cluster delivery to an acceptor apo-protein consistent with a role in regulating cluster release and transfer. Additional genetic and biochemical studies are needed to extend these findings to mtHsp70 activities in higher eukaryotes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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